Full-time home-based consultancy (11 months): Bebbo app Product Manager – UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office, Geneva, Switzerland

UNICEF Global


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Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, education

Context

Recognising the potential of digital solutions in improving quality of life and services for children and their families, UNICEF Europe, and Central Asia Regional Office (ECARO) supports careful development and scale up of technology-based solutions across the countries in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region.

To thrive and develop optimally, young children need nurturing care provided primarily by their parents supported by service providers and wider communities.  Parents need information on all domains of health and development from a validated source, guidance on how to support children through daily practices even if they cannot access services, motivation, and encouragement as well as support for their own well-being.

Several apps that provide guidance to parents are available on the market, but they are available in English, they provide a limited thematic content (play activities) without a possibility for parents to familiarize with, track & support all aspects of their child health & development. Most apps are not free of charge and cannot operate in offline mode, which presents a significant barrier, particularly for the most vulnerable families.

UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office is developing a parenting application Bebbo with an aim to engage parents and caregivers in nurturing care, positive parenting, stimulating, and learning. This goal will be achieved through improving availability of information and supporting parents, using innovation and behavior change. 

The Theory of Change for the Bebbo app stipulates that as parents download the app and regularly access and use key functions of Bebbo, they will increase their knowledge and awareness of key aspects of child development, which would result in ​increased parental engagement in nurturing care, positive parenting practices, stimulating and learning activities, improved parental wellbeing, leading to improved outcomes for children.

Bebbo’s potential to create these improved outcomes is supported by several success factors:

  • Increasing adoption of and familiarity with mobile devices across the target demographic
  • Difficulties accessing service providers (another source of such information and guidance), particularly due to COVID
  • UNICEF’s ability to provide reliable and useful content in a user-friendly manner
  • UNICEF’s understanding of local service provider ecosystems to support rather than disrupt/compete and to enable integration of the app into overall ECD program response
  • Development of an app as an opens source solution, open for easy translation and customization to different languages and local contexts
  • The mobile application supports the most vulnerable parents/caregivers, in terms of the navigation modalities, off-line operability and selection of the core content

The Bebbo app

Bebbo is a free, easily accessible mobile app for IOS and Android platforms, will provide evidence-based guidance that supports childcare and development as well as parental wellbeing and mental health.  In addition to ECD content across domains of health, nutrition, play, safety, responsive parenting and parental wellbeing, the app will offer functional features related to monitoring and recording of vaccinations, child growth and development, customizable and tailored to child’s age and gender, and other parameters.

The application is designed to be made available in multiple languages, with centrally developed content stored in a Drupal-based Content management system. The App is developed based on the prototype created by UNICEF Serbia (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.unicef.ecar.parentbuddy).

Next steps

The next phase of this initiative will focus on:

  • Continuing to improve the app

Review of the first version of the application suggested improvements that would improve the user experience and support wider deployment and growth. Development of these improvements is underway, and a new version of the application is planned for the Q3 of 2021. Further improvements can be expected during 2022. Note that this includes improvements to the CMS as well as the android and iOS apps.

  • Making the app available in more countries

The app will be deployed in 11 countries during the period from October 2021 to March 2022. This will necessitate adapting the content and the app itself to align with national contexts. 

  • Defining the scale up and sustainability strategy of the app beyond ECA region

This should include development of deployment packages and exploring approaches for the sustainable app scale up globally

To achieve these objectives, the Bebbo team – including the new Product Manager will do the following:

  1. Work with technical vendors to design, test and deploy a new version of the app that is fit for use across the new countries
  2. Optimize and expand the Content management system to provide a rich library of content in master languages with integrated machine translation as a foundation for the management of the content served through the app adapted to different languages and countries
  3. Support development of methodologies and tools for the requirement gathering, monitoring of use and accessibility of the application across countries to inform future efforts and onboarding of other countries, document lessons learned and experiences of country offices that launched the app
  4. Support UNICEF country offices with guidance on how to establish local partnerships and management structures to ensure effective deployment of the app in each of the countries
  5. Support UNICEF country offices to develop communication and promotion strategies to facilitate use of the application and its integration into program delivery  
  6. Develop a robust deployment playbook to support rollout of the app in a new country
  7. Provide inputs to the regional communication and promotion of the app
  8. Facilitate establishment of long-term partnerships and fundraising efforts
  9. Ensure coordination and exchange with teams supporting other ECD digital initiatives to facilitate use of the available content and technical solutions across projects  

How can you make a difference?

The UNICEF ECARO ECD section is seeking to employ a product management consultant with strong project management and coordination skills to support further development and deployment of the Bebbo application in ECA region and beyond.

Under the supervision of the ECD Specialist, in coordination with the ECD Regional Adviser and the Technology for Development Busines Analyst, the consultant will provide technical assistance related to the different streams of work as specified above, envisioned to be provided by the Regional Office to Country Offices. 

Scope of work and specific tasks

Under the supervision of the Regional ECD Advisor and ECD Specialist, the consultant is expected to undertake the following tasks:

  1. Coordinate the Bebbo app development process with technical vendors resulting in the new scalable version of the app and optimized Content management system
  • Drive product development and lead the prioritization and implementation of new features for the app in line with the technical specifications
  • Manage backlog and provide user support, including communicating and monitoring support and maintenance requests with software developers 
  • Coordinate optimization of the content management system to provide a rich library of content served through the app as a basis for the country level adaptations
  • Establish communication flows and coordinate inputs and requirements between the key actors (app development vendors, UNICEF consultants, engaged COs)
  • Ensure adequate monitoring and documentation of key processes and transactions
  • Address implementation challenges in proactive, constructive, and innovative manner
  • Analyze the impact of Bebbo and user adoption & satisfaction by defining and tracking key metrics. 
    • Support development of tools and mechanisms to enable data collection on the app use and effectiveness, including in ECD program implementation
    • Monitor product performance and lead on identification of new features
    • Document lessons learned and experiences of country offices that launched the app
  • Work with and coordinate inputs of the cross-functional Bebbo regional team (consultants and staff supporting content adaptation, communication, M&E etc.) to develop and pursue product strategy
    • Develop a detailed plan for deploying Bebbo based on CO inputs and workplan with technical vendors.
    • Coordinate regional support towards the smooth app deployment at a country level
  • Develop a multi-year Roadmap for the app deployment and a sustainable business model
    • Develop a multi-year Roadmap with an appropriate level of detail
    • Coordinate development of the deployment package containing the roadmap for CO deployment, promotion and communication strategies, technical guidance packages for the content management, governance structure and partnerships etc.
    • Identify modalities to grow a product considering local competitors and markets
  • Facilitate establishment of long-term partnerships and sustainable business models for the app
    • Support identification of potential partners for the technological advancement of the app, content strengthening and fundraising and facilitate partnership building
    • Coordinate development and provide inputs into fundraising strategies and proposals
    • Develop project briefs and other products (PPTs etc.), supporting project promotion, regional sharing, and communication
  • Support country offices in deploying the app, building partnerships supporting sustainable business models and integrating the app in the programmatic response
  • Expected results

    The consultant will deliver on the following outputs and products within the timeline agreed within the monthly workplans approved by the supervisor. *Noting that these timelines depend on resources and personnel being available within the relevant countries in a timely fashion. The monthly workplans will be used as a basis for planning and monitoring of deliverables and performance assessment against the following expected results.

    • Product development and backlog effectively managed in collaboration with the technical vendors resulting in fully functional and optimal versions of the app
    • Information on product performance regularly available, analyzed and used for the performance improvement planning
    • Cross-functional Bebbo regional team (consultants and staff supporting content adaptation, communication, M&E etc.) effectively coordinated to develop and pursue product strategy
    • A multi-year Roadmap for the app deployment and a sustainable business model developed
    • Critical contribution provided for the establishment of long-term partnerships and sustainable business models for the app
    • Country offices effectively supported to deploy the app in their contexts

    Duty Station: This is home-based consultancy preferably within Europe or within the ECA region, or time zones convenient to enable productive engagement in collaborative activities.

    Timeframe: The consultant is required on a full-time basis for a period from January 2022 until November 2022

    To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

    • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in computer science, engineering, or another relevant field. 
    • A minimum of 5 years of relevant professional experience in building and shipping technical products, ideally including mobile applications
    • Experience in creating product roadmaps and defining go-to-market strategies 
    • Experience in working with a multidisciplinary team of designers, engineers, researchers, domain experts, both in-house and external
    • Experience working in an agile software development environment as well as with more traditional methodologies
    • Knowledge of project management tools, preferably open-source ones (e.g. GitHub, ZenHub) 
    • Knowledge of the environment in which UNICEF operates, and understanding the constraints of working in a developing-world environment. This should include experience developing low-bandwidth applications in challenging work environments. 
    • Demonstrated ability and experience in coordination, and able to work under pressure is required
    • Excellent communication abilities, in both written and oral forms.  Consultant should be at ease in presentations and meetings with D-level (UN) or C-level (private sector) executives.
    • Ability to align technical goals with UNICEF strategic goals — that always will mean UNICEF’s mission over any particular technology. 
    • Fluency in English is a minimum requirement.  Fluency in languages of the UNICEF ECA region would be an advantage.

    To apply: please apply online and duly complete the online profile (include the requested documents specifically CV and/or your up to date P11 history form (P11 supersedes the CV) and your motivation letter. Kindly indicate your monthly fees. Applications without fees will not be considered. 

    For every Child, you demonstrate…

    UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

    To view our competency framework, please visit here.

    Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

    UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

    UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

    Remarks:

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

    Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

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